luni, 7 octombrie 2013

How to convince the Romanians to vote for the European election?

The ordinary man asks himself: what are the European elections? It is worth going to vote for it? We see the same faces every election campaign, and it’s hard to know whether the promises that were made materialized. Did our situation improve since we joined the European Union? It seems so, but the change is not spectacular, at least not as such. Maybe the crisis that we live with for already five years does not allow us to visualize the prosperity.

I say that we can indeed have meaningful European elections in Romania, the citizen can be interested, and we can discuss real issues. The ball is still in the court of political parties. We have a balanced team of MEPs, but we need new faces as well - people connected both with Brussels and to the Romanian reality. This "double hat" and the necessary complementarity between political will and technical expertise to influence Brussels is maximal, because we need people to know to speak Romanian as well as the “Brussels jargon”.

If we have Romanian candidates who truly understand the complexity of European politics, Romanian political-administrative system, and often even regional nuances on the lists submitted by political parties, we have a good chance to have a dialogue with Romanian society. The stakes are high: who will form the team of 32 MEPs that will connect Romania to Europe until 2019, when Romania takes the EU presidency? We risk losing interest in such interactions. And it's a shame. It’s a loss for the European institutions, the political parties, and it’s definitely a big loss for the Romanian citizens.

I strongly believe that those who wish to apply for the European Parliament should be able to freely and realistically address topics such as human resource required for linking Romania to the EU; for engaging the business sector and civil society in understanding the dynamics of EU legislation; European institutional reform and the advantages to Romania. Meanwhile future MEPs must perfect contextualizing the present European policies in Romania.

It's not allowed to carry double messages. Exactly what is discussed in the European Parliament should be reflected in the discussions at home, on the national television. If there are issues that are politically dangerous, they should still be discussed. The stakes are huge - to continue the European project or not to continue: that’s what is at stake now. Without cumbersome procedures, routine or bureaucracy! We should show that the EU is the structure that solves the problems of citizens, and a system that truly believes in the quality of its citizens’ lives.

Dan LUCA / Brussels

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